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Ulster University has become the first university in the UK and the only commercial organisation in Northern Ireland to install the revolutionary Internet of Things (IoT) technology, SIGFOX.

IoT technology supports the networking and sharing of information between physical devices such as smartphones, tablet and other suitably enabled electronic devices via the internet. The innovative SIGFOX wireless technology remotely connects devices with the cloud, transferring valuable data sets for end-user evaluation by phone, tablet or computer.

SIGFOX is the next generation of wireless technology and can work alongside other networks such as Wifi, Bluetooth and 4G. It excels for its wide range connectivity to the internet, as well as its low power consumption and cost. The new SIGFOX base station has been fitted at Ulster University’s Jordanstown campus.

Dr Philip Catherwood from Ulster University’s Engineering Research Institute said:

“To give you an idea of the power of SIGFOX, it takes only one base station to service an area the size of Belfast. As the first university in the UK to install a SIGFOX base station, Ulster University is at the forefront of the Internet of Things revolution. This is supported by our world-leading research in connected health and data analytics, as well as our innovative teaching practices.

“This emerging technology offers enormous opportunities for innovation and discovery at Ulster University. We will use SIGFOX enabled technology in our future research into wearable devices; remote data analysis and connected health platforms to further improve patient outcomes and transform the global healthcare sector. The SIGFOX base station at Ulster University will receive a wide range of information from remote healthcare data such as blood analysis, diabetes and heart rate results, to livestock tracking and chemical detection.

“Ulster University’s engineering students will benefit from the new base station as we plan to deliver dedicated modules on this emerging network. This will guarantee students first-hand experience of this next generation technology, helping them to thrive in careers in the fast-paced technology and engineering sectors.

“We are delighted to have the first base station installed at Ulster University, which will benefit not only researchers and students, but also Northern Ireland’s wider business community who can tap into its potential.”

Led by Ulster University’s School of Engineering, the installation of the new SIGFOX base station was supported by cross-border partners including VT Networks and 2nr.  The base station equipment was provided by WND UK, the UK’s primary Sigfox operator, with installation expertise from Barrett Contracts.